Thursday, 13 December 2012

Don't Give Up Your Home

"This sense of being at home is important to everyone’s well-being. If you do not get enough of it, your happiness, resilience, energy, humor, and courage will decrease … Being at home feels safe; you have a sense of relief whenever you come home and close the door behind you … Home is the one place in the world … where you belong … Coming home is your major restorative in life. These are formidably good things, which you cannot get merely by finding true love or getting married or having children or landing the best job in the world—or even by moving into the house of your dreams." (Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts)

Many people have never known this feeling. They moved from the family house, to university hall or flat, to a flat/house share to a live-in to a marriage to having a child crying 24/7/52. 

To know the feeling of home-as-sanctuary, you need to have lived on your own for a couple of years and coped with the shopping, housework, cleaning, ironing and cooking, without resorting to take-away food, a cleaner and getting your shirts ironed at the dry cleaners. You need to have made wherever you're living your own, as much as the lease will let you, by painting, shelving, smaller items of furniture and decorations. Otherwise you're just living in someone else's space for a while. 

Once known, the feeling of home-as-sanctuary is not willingly given up. When you have a place of comfort and safety, why would you let in a terrorist who can at random make your life a mess and a misery?

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